Author Topic: Welcome to Chicago  (Read 16921 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: That's One Big Closet
« Reply #75 on: August 04, 2007, 01:58:29 PM »
As one Pastor has indicated before, the ELCA doesn't have any active gay pastors. 
Yes, it does. There are practicing homosexuals on the ELCA clergy roster. However, those who have been mentioned in this discussion are not.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: That's One Big Closet
« Reply #76 on: August 04, 2007, 02:45:24 PM »
Since he is the president of the body in question, I would think Hanson would know we are part of a federation, not a communion.  That language, a Lutheran Communion, was studied and rejected a number of years ago by the LWF. 

You're a bit out of date, Brian.  At its 10th Assembly in 2003 in Winnipeg (I was there), the LWF amended its formal name to become "The Lutheran World Federation - A Communion of Churches."  The self-description of "communion" with a declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between all member churches had been adopted at the 9th Assembly in 1997.

Now, at this point, Pr. McCain should be jumping in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS) have formally declared that state to exist and that they do not accept that the LWF is a "communion." 

My response to that, based on my own observations and conversations with some of the Baltic churchmen (including an Archbishop), is that we are both correct.  (Those Baltic churchmen could teach our State Department a thing or 2 about diplomacy. ;) )

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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scott3

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Re: That's One Big Closet
« Reply #77 on: August 04, 2007, 03:21:22 PM »
Since he is the president of the body in question, I would think Hanson would know we are part of a federation, not a communion.  That language, a Lutheran Communion, was studied and rejected a number of years ago by the LWF. 

You're a bit out of date, Brian.  At its 10th Assembly in 2003 in Winnipeg (I was there), the LWF amended its formal name to become "The Lutheran World Federation - A Communion of Churches."  The self-description of "communion" with a declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between all member churches had been adopted at the 9th Assembly in 1997.

Now, at this point, Pr. McCain should be jumping in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS) have formally declared that state to exist and that they do not accept that the LWF is a "communion." 

My response to that, based on my own observations and conversations with some of the Baltic churchmen (including an Archbishop), is that we are both correct.  (Those Baltic churchmen could teach our State Department a thing or 2 about diplomacy. ;) )

Pax, Steven+

Our LCMS partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, is strongly against the re-labeling.  Bishop Obare has been very vocal in his opposition, and I even seem to recall (I'm not positive and would welcome correction on this point) that their (ELCK) annual assembly voted against the name change.

ptmccain

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Re: That's One Big Closet
« Reply #78 on: August 04, 2007, 03:40:57 PM »
Now, at this point, Pr. McCain should be jumping in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS) have formally declared that state to exist and that they do not accept that the LWF is a "communion." 

Now, at this point, let me jump in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and Africa, and Asia, and Central and South America, that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS), as well as other member churches of the LWF, have never endorsed or accepted the notion that the LWF is a communio of churches.

: )

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: That's One Big Closet
« Reply #79 on: August 04, 2007, 05:13:02 PM »
Now, at this point, let me jump in to note that not all LWF members (particularly those in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and Africa, and Asia, and Central and South America, that are in Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the LCMS), as well as other member churches of the LWF, have never endorsed or accepted the notion that the LWF is a communio of churches.
There were congregations who voted "no" on whether or not to form a new church. However, when the resolution was approved, they were part of the ELCA whether they liked it or not. (They could, and some did, follow the proper procedures for leaving the ELCA.)
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Charles_Austin

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #80 on: August 04, 2007, 05:51:09 PM »
And the LWF has declared itself a "communion" of churches in which all should be in altar and pulpit fellowship with one another. But it is not a perfect world, is it? The LWF holds services of Holy Communion when it meets and back in the old days when I was there, the LC-MS related churches that were members participated, sometimes in spite of scolding from St. Louis.

ptmccain

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #81 on: August 04, 2007, 06:46:35 PM »
What's interesting to watch is while the Western liberal Lutheran churches in the LWF are in a freefall: demographically and theologically, the more conservative Lutheran churches in the LWF are thriving and growing, by leaps and bounds. And the theology and ethics represented by the European state churches and their American partner are held in very low regard. If Hanson, and his supporters, think they will be able to "smooth talk" their way around the homosexuality issue, like they are trying to do in their own churches, they are going to be sorely disappointed. The Eastern European and Baltic member churches of the LWF have a long memory of how the liberal churches were praising Marx and Lenin and socialism in general, while they were being persecuted and killed by these "progressive" governments. The weak and empty theology of liberal Lutheranism did not sustain the Lutherans behind the Iron Curtain during the years of persecution: it was only the solid confession of the Scriptures and Confessions, Catechism and old Hymnals that sustained them. And they remember it. That's why they so much appreciate the incredibly teaching work going on throughout the world by confessional Lutheran seminary professors, and why they are welcomed with open arms, much to the chagrin to the Genevan power brokers who can wave money around in front of impoverished churches in the third world, but who bring only an impoverished theology.

scott3

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #82 on: August 04, 2007, 07:13:44 PM »
And if you would like to re-visit the position of the ELCK (in Kenya) with regard to the influence of the liberal churches, check out Bishop Obare's outstanding address that he gave to the LWF Council in Jerusalem.  It was subsequently published in Concordia Theological Quarterly.

Here's an excerpt without the footnotes which include a wealth of scriptural and confessional backing as well as interesting commentary:


2. "Calling a thing what it is"


“A theology of glory calls evil good and good evil.  A theology of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.” (Martin Luther, Heidelberg Disputation, Thesis 21)
[/i]

Rather than following the path of fidelity to Scripture and to the historic confession of the church, the Church of Sweden pursues the path of ecclesial tyranny and oppression through the enforcement of its humanly contrived rules and regulations.  Rather than exercising true Christian love and unity, it fosters schism and controversy.  Like true theologians of glory, the leadership of the Church of Sweden and other Northern, liberal churches insist on calling the bad good and the good bad.  The LWF is not innocent of this charge.  Let us examine some documents prepared by such theologians to see if this is the case.

a.   After receiving the request from the Mission Province to consecrate Bishop Olsson, Archbishop Hammar wrote a well-publicized letter to me that contained this excerpt: “Within the Church of Sweden there are many inner-church movements with different perspectives.  Today, they exist side-by-side united by a wish to stay together even though there are different opinions regarding many of these perspectives.  We seem to have reached the painful situation where the wish for some to stay together is no longer as strong as the need to stress one’s own perspective.”

The truth is that the Mission Province never intended to leave the Church of Sweden.  They have always maintained their desire to remain as a confessing reform movement within the Church of Sweden (one of Archbishop Hammar’s “inner-church movements”), not as a new church.   Their desire for unity with a church that has been persecuting their beliefs is remarkable for its commitment to both maintain their confession and the visible unity of the church.  But what happened in point of fact?  The Church of Sweden removed Bishop Olsson from her roster.   

Which party is the one whose need “to stress one’s own perspective” overcomes the desire to stay together?  Archbishop Hammar agrees that inner-church movements are possible, but when one comes along that does not fit in well with the agenda of the church leadership, it is kicked out.  And this despite the protestations from the so-called “schismatics” who over and over express their intention to remain within the Church of Sweden!  The good of maintaining the historic Christian confession of faith is no longer tolerated and is called bad.  The good of desiring to remain united with the Church of Sweden in order to reform her is called bad.  Nietzche’s “will to power” expresses itself through the leadership of the Church of Sweden as regulations are used not to further the unity of the church but to splinter it.  In the end, a particular ideological agenda seeks to crush all opposition in its quest for power within the church.  My brothers and sisters, call a thing what it is!

b.   In Presiding Bishop Hanson’s address to the LWF Council in September 2004, he discussed diversity within the church when he called for: “Expansion of our understanding of ‘differentiated consensus’ and ‘reconciled diversity’ as theological tools for deepening conversation will help us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”

While the theological and logical confusion behind such terms as “differentiated consensus” and “reconciled diversity” is evident,   Bishop Hanson’s stated hope would be that churches could allow for different opinions existing within them.  This is a very different goal than Paul’s “being of one mind”,  but let us look how this desire works out in practice to see if something more sinister is concealed behind these phrases.

The Church of Sweden fosters division and schism by its intolerant policy of not allowing priests to be ordained unless they agree with women’s ordination.  This is hardly an example of helping “us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”  Yet the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has done nothing to help alleviate the situation.  From an African perspective, the reasons for this are likely to be because of the wealth and power of the church and the unwillingness of the LWF to honestly confront one of its wealthiest and most powerful members.

But weaker members are fair game.  For my willingness to speak the truth to power and act on the biblical confession of faith, I face expulsion from the LWF Council.  The Church of Sweden has already expelled Bishop Olsson for his plea for the tolerance of his position within the Church of Sweden.  Apparently, uniformity is demanded, but it is uniformity to novel doctrines that have only arisen in the last 50 years of church history.

So what is concealed behind the terms “differentiated consensus”, “reconciled diversity” and “unity without demanding uniformity” is something quite different from what they state on the face of it.  Rather, these are expressions of the dominating will of a powerful elite who seek to enforce their ideologies on the rest of the church.  They conceal with a thin veneer the “will-to-power” operative in the church today.  We have watched this happen over and over in liberal, Northern Christianity.  Liberal theological trends progressively take over, not in the congregations, but in the leadership.  They become imposed through the “will-to-power” concealed in pleasant expressions like “differentiated consensus” upon the everyday Christian through the exercise of ecclesial dominion.  Gentle sounding phrases become the weapons of a politics of exclusion that dominate liberal churches.   The exercise of this concealed “will-to-power” has crept like an assassin from church to church leaving many spiritual corpses in its wake.  It is even, through financial enticements (a pleasantry I substitute for the term “bribe”), being marketed to Southern churches.  This is at least true in Africa where it is not uncommon for money to be connected to the implementation of the liberal agenda. 

But no more.  Now is the time to say “No!” to this development.  This occupation and domination of churches has hurt enough people.  The intellectual and theological dishonesty concealed by this “double-speak” must end.  Call a thing what it is!

c.   Another theme in Bishop Hanson’s address is standing up for the persecuted of this world.  One example is when he says: “Have we accepted tolerance as the highest value in a pluralistic world, so that we refrain from condemning acts of injustice, violence and intolerance?”  Once again, we see ecclesial “double-speak” rearing its ugly head.  What I did in consecrating Bishop Olsson is exactly to condemn injustice, theological violence and intolerance of the historic confession of the Christian faith.  And it is exactly for this that the LWF Executive Committee, of which Bishop Hanson is the chair, recommended that I be removed from the LWF Council.
A further example is Bishop Hanson’s statement regarding the persecution of Christians: “Let us not forget that Christians and persons of other religions are experiencing persecution and discrimination.  Our failure to speak out for an end to such actions will cause us to grow apart.  We must reject violence in all its forms even as we work for peace and justice.”  In the context of the persecution of pastors holding to the historic confession of the Christian faith in the Church of Sweden, I have spoken out to end such actions.  I have spoken by word and deed.  This is for true peace within the church based on the Word of our Lord as well as justice.  But, once again, the discriminatory practices of the Church of Sweden and Archbishop Hammar have not been censured, but the smaller, weaker Mission Province and I myself have been singled out for retribution.  Is this just?  Is this peaceful?  Is this unity?

To paraphrase Bishop Hanson’s own words I now say: “In the face of injustice, exploitation and violence, [I have spoken] words of prophetic judgment.”  Will anyone listen?

d.   Now let us come to the charges brought against me.  The recommendation made by the Executive Committee reads: “The consecration took place outside all regulations in the Church of Sweden.  This action, by Bishop Obare, together with those who assisted him, must be considered inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church, with negative consequences for the unity of the LWF as a communion of churches as a whole.”  This says that my actions were inconsistent with my role as an “advisor to the Council, entrusted with the responsibility to uphold and further the unity of the Lutheran communion.”

These statements are filled with misunderstandings of what true unity is and of the basis upon which decisions should be made in the church.  They are also hypocritical.

To begin with, unity is God-given, created by the Holy Spirit, and founded upon a common confession of faith as understood through the Holy Scriptures.  The Lutheran Confessions help us understand the message of the Scriptures and are also an aid to unity.  True Christian unity and love demands that injustice be addressed and Scriptural truths upheld.  If this is not done, the message of the Gospel will be compromised in the short or longer term.  This cannot be.  So as stated above, Christian love and unity drove me to aid the Mission Province who sought to be faithful both to the divine command to ordain qualified men into the ministry and to the good human tradition of the Apostolic Succession.  This interaction between the Mission Province and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya was one of the most beautiful expressions of Christian unity.  It should be upheld as a model, where one church calls to another: “Come over and help us!” (cf. Acts 16:9)

Yet this wonderful expression of the una sancta is termed “inappropriate” by the LWF Executive Committee.  It is condemned because it supposedly violated “all regulations in the Church of Sweden.”  First, it must be said that whether or not it was actually a violation of the regulations of the Church of Sweden is a matter of debate and interpretation.    The interpretation forwarded by Bishop Olsson and the Mission Province argues quite cogently that the consecration did not take place outside of the church regulations.  But more importantly, should not the question the church be asking be: “Is what Bishop Obare did scriptural?  Is what Bishop Olsson did scriptural?  Is it in accordance with the way Lutherans understand the Christian faith found in the Lutheran Confessions?”  But these questions are deemed unimportant for investigation.  Rather, human rules and regulations are the basis for decision, even if these rules are not in accordance with Scripture and the historic understanding of the Christian faith.

Even more, the hypocrisy of the LWF Executive Committee is palpable.  The LWF is an organization which is largely dominated by Northern, rich, liberal churches.  That these dominant, powerful interests are now accusing a Southern bishop of “inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church” is hypocritical.  Before going on, I need to state how grateful we are in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya for the mission work that was done among us by the Swedish Lutherans who God used to found our church.  Their dedication and sacrifice is now bearing fruit – even thirty, sixty and one hundredfold – in that God is now using us to stand for the pure proclamation of the Gospel in Sweden and soon, hopefully, in other places around the world.

Even so, the Northern churches have a long, distinguished and ongoing tradition of “inappropriately interfering in the life of a sister church.”  This interference takes many forms, but largely it is through the manipulation of the purse strings / the giving of funds.  Money is to be had if you agree to the agenda set by liberal Northern churches.  I, myself, was offered various “partnerships” by LWF “sister churches” if I would not consecrate Bishop Olsson.  We have a word for this type of offer, a procedure that is, sadly, all too familiar to those of us in Kenya who have to combat the effects of graft daily.

Another type of interference is theological.  An example of this is the consecration of a divorced, practicing homosexual man as a bishop in the Episcopal Church in the USA which has had wide-ranging effects on all Christian denominations throughout the South, and I know for sure in Africa.  It has damaged the credibility of all Christians. The faith of new Christians or weak Christians has been badly shaken, and many have wondered if the Christian religion is the right one.  It has also aided the outreach of the Muslims who use it as an example of the corruptness of Christianity.  This is one theological example among many.  The practices of liberal Lutheran churches in ordaining women, blessing homosexual unions (like the one in which Archbishop Hammar was present), and perhaps eventually ordaining practicing homosexuals are also terrible interferences in the life of Southern Lutheran churches.  If this is not “inappropriate interference” that damages the body of Christ, I do not know what is.

Let me give you just one recent example of “inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church” from my own church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK).  A little over a year ago, a missionary pastor from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) planned and deliberately caused a split in what is arguably the most important church in the ELCK – Uhuru Highway Lutheran Church, now called a Cathedral.  He officially tendered his resignation from the English service at the church two weeks before leaving.  The Sunday after he left, he started preaching and began a new congregation also in Nairobi in an LWF “sister church”, the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church (KELC).  Before he had officially resigned from Uhuru Highway, this ELCA missionary had organized a steering committee for the new church he intended to found.  He had started working on a new worship folder long before.  The goal was clearly not to stay within the ELCK but to cause a painful split in the church.  The official ELCA representative to East Africa was present at the steering committee meetings before the split occurred and helped to facilitate the split.  The bishop of KELC also aided the schism.  Over 6 months after the split occurred, the ELCA decided to contribute USD 370,000 (USD 185,000 over two years) to the new congregation thus cementing and guaranteeing that the split would remain permanent.

Yet I see Presiding Bishop Hanson of the ELCA as President of the LWF.  I see no charges of “inappropriate interference in the life of a sister church” being leveled against his church body.  I do not see Bishop Hanson’s position as President of the LWF in jeopardy.
My brothers and sisters, this is hypocrisy.  Northern churches regularly “interfere” in the lives of Southern churches.  This interference, like the discrimination of the Church of Sweden against her own members, passes by without comment because of the wealth and power of the churches.  Is this what the church is about?  Is this true Christian unity?

In the end, I do not accept that my own actions were “inappropriate interference” at all.  They were driven, first of all, by Christian love and well-founded in Scripture and the Confessions.  They were approved by my own church, the ELCK, in a resolution adopted at our annual general assembly.  When I presented my reasoning at a private conference of about 17 African Lutheran church leaders [bishops and presidents] held during the 2004 Council meeting, they all expressed their support for my and the ELCK’s decision.   We did not approach the Mission Province; they approached us and we were merely reacting to God’s leading through their call to us.  The Mission Province, unlike the ELCA missionary who split one of our congregations, repeatedly expressed its desire to remain within the church and not be schismatic.  And, as mentioned earlier, the situation in which the Mission Province found themselves necessitated, by divine right, that they ordain pastors which was accomplished in a very appropriate manner by following the Apostolic Succession.  This is not “inappropriate interference”.  It is rather the most appropriate “interference”, an “interference” fully in consonant with the commands of our Lord found in Scripture and explained in the Confessions.

I am sorry if my words have been harsh.  But the truth must be spoken, and if speaking what Scripture says and exercising obedience to the Word causes dissension, so be it.  As Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.  Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt 10:34-39)


Find the whole thing at: http://www.missionsprovinsen.se/pdf/choose_life_lwf_jerusalem_2005.pdf

Shrimp

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #83 on: August 04, 2007, 07:55:40 PM »
Here's something else for delegates to consider:

4.2 The image of God and the pastoral responsibility of the church

The exchange of God for human images of God necessarily continues on all levels of churchly activity, beginning in the divine service, continuing in pastoral care and the content of proclamation and instruction, to questions of church government.

If one arrives at the conclusion that homosexuality is to be regarded as gift of the divine Creator, it is only consistent for the church to bless couples who so desire. Also the exclusion of practicing and confessing homosexuals from church work, especially from the pastoral office, then is simply impossible, especially when one holds to a mere functional understanding of the office.[150] In this sense, the demands of Homosexualität und Kirche and of those who demand a seemingly loving opening of the church for practicing homosexuals are only consistent. Yet this makes it all the more important to see that this cannot anymore be legitimized with Holy Scripture or the love of the gospel. A churchly blessing of a homosexual couple is therefore also no blessing bestowed by the triune God. Rather, here humans act on their own authority and in the name of their images of God. “As the church cannot invent sacraments which Christ has not instituted, so it also cannot bless what God has not blessed.”[151] Such an act is open rebellion against the First Commandment,[152] and it necessarily must have the effect of splitting the church.[153]

Directly connected to what takes place in the divine service is, also in this instance, the pastoral practice of the church. For it is evident that “a churchly recognition of homosexuality as an equally valid way of life weakens the will to change.”[154] “When the churches say: ‘gay is good,’ they take away much of the incentive necessary to begin the long and painful way of change. It is significantly easier to change churches than one’s own life. In many cases, the church deprives the homosexual person of the motivation to change. It may be that the Christian battling his homosexuality is surrounded by people who tell him that he should celebrate his homosexuality as a gift from God.”[155] In this context, the common practice in churchly counseling agencies or in the church’s youth work of confirming youth and those seeking advice in their homosexual orientation is a terrible thing.[156] Equally terrible is the “coming out” which is praised as the conclusion of self-realization. For this is nothing else than a public confession which, like every other confession, implies a condemnation of the opposite way. Where intimacy is abandoned in such an aggressive way,[157] a salutary pastoral practice is made extremely difficult. In view of the tragic nature of the life of many homosexual people, Christian pastoral care must try to assist them to lead a life beyond the forced public self-exposing and a retreat into hiding.[158] The intimacy or, respectively, confidentiality in pastoral care is absolutely necessary for this.[159] Such confidentiality is indeed the opposite of proud coming outs. Equally, offering a seemingly permanent – thus marriage-like – homosexual partnership as a way out is no solution.[160] Likewise, the general defamation of homosexuals in the open of the congregation is totally wrong. Instead, the important ethical distinction between person and work, also of homosexual inclination and practice, helps to bring about a pastoral encounter beyond rejection of the person and indifference toward their acts.[161] Here church and theology would gain spiritual authority, if they found again the courage to speak also in other areas about continence in various areas of life and about suffering for the sake of the gospel. Based on the New Testament, at any rate, Christians ethics know “also in other areas of life about the possibility of abstaining from sexual activity (e.g., in single life, in celibacy, etc.).”[162] Pastoral care here needs to distinguish between, on the one hand, therapies that are necessary and helpful in achieving a salutary use of one’s sexuality and, on the other hand, confession and absolution which also the person who is therapeutically “healed” continues to need.[163] The near-complete loss of confession and absolution in the realm of the churches has the necessary effect that church and theology have no spiritual authority anymore when it comes to dealing with serious disruptions of the relationship between God and man. This, in turn, has to do with the total elimination of the horizon of the final judgment. The responsibility before God and the standard of the external divine word, which judges and pardons the sinner, is replaced by an ultimately merely immanent self-mediation in relation to one’s own image of God, which, in turn, serves to confirm one’s own self-realization – man as sinner remains with himself, unable to open and give himself to his Creator and creature which is different from himself. In this way, it is subtly denied that also pastoral care is about the (necessary) conflict between God and the images of God, for man reaches the freedom of faith only when the lies of his feelings give way to the truth of faith.[164] Many reports of those affected show that such processes of healing and hallowing are possible as miracles of the Holy Spirit.[165] It is nothing but a denial of the power of the Holy Spirit active in the word and in the holy sacraments, beginning with baptism, when such healings are denied or explained away.

This is why basic decisions in churchly instruction and in proclamation are highly necessary either way. This is why the advocates for the equality of homosexuals try to start here.[166] This is why it is absolutely necessary for the church to proclaim the biblical view of man in an unadulterated manner as the foundation for a life that is blessed by God, and, where this is needed, to call sinners to repentance. It would be irreconcilable with the biblical view of man to admit practicing homosexuals to church work, especially to the pastoral office.[167] “Churchly teaching and instruction have to state clearly that homosexuality and even more so bisexuality … are by no means forms of sexuality that are equal to heterosexuality; and that it is therefore not a matter of indifference which shape sexuality takes on. Heterosexuality therefore has to be the unequivocal guiding ideal of all sexual education; and people who are still wavering in their sexual orientation should unequivocally be encouraged (e.g., by means of pastoral care and psychotherapy) toward heterosexuality. Thus, all possibilities should be exhausted, especially by way of prevention and therapy, to protect people from homosexual influences and lifestyles.”[168] One only needs to add here that it is primarily not about education against something, but, positively, about education for marriage and family, in the context of which also the charisma of celibacy should be addressed by the church more clearly as a genuine alternative. Honecker, referring to Luther’s explanation of the Sixth Commandment, reminds us what is, in this area of life, the most important duty of every Christian and his greatest joy in the faith, namely, to help preserve “somebody else’s chastity” “with word and deed.”[169]

Read the essay: http://saveelca.blogspot.com/2007/08/exchanges-theological-dimensions-of.html

ptmccain

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #84 on: August 04, 2007, 07:58:51 PM »
Scott,

Thanks for posting that speech. It reveals the true reality that is the LWF today. And it is not a pretty picture.

Paul

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #85 on: August 04, 2007, 11:36:08 PM »
Hmm.  We've come a long way for "welcome to Chicago." 

Frid och allt gott, Steven+
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Pr. Jerry

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #86 on: August 05, 2007, 10:14:16 AM »
Hmm.  We've come a long way for "welcome to Chicago." 

So it's probably time to turn our eyes back to Chi-town, where, as of the time of this post, the "Worship Jubilee" should be in high-gear and delegates ...oops, VOTING MEMBERS... will begin arriving in the next several hours.

I know Richard and Erma are on the ground there.  How're things going, I wonder?

Anyone... Anyone...  Buehler... Buehler.... ;)

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Maryland Brian

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #87 on: August 05, 2007, 10:25:38 AM »
b.   In Presiding Bishop Hanson’s address to the LWF Council in September 2004, he discussed diversity within the church when he called for: “Expansion of our understanding of ‘differentiated consensus’ and ‘reconciled diversity’ as theological tools for deepening conversation will help us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”

While the theological and logical confusion behind such terms as “differentiated consensus” and “reconciled diversity” is evident,  Bishop Hanson’s stated hope would be that churches could allow for different opinions existing within them.  This is a very different goal than Paul’s “being of one mind”,  but let us look how this desire works out in practice to see if something more sinister is concealed behind these phrases.


Thank you for posting this.  I had not seen it.  A cogent, biblical and confessional response to so-called 1st world mainline theological spin.

Perhaps like the Anglican Communion, our own global realignment is not that far off either.  TEC's problems really came to the forefront with Robinson.  A change in V&E policy would, IMHO, likewise set off a similar reaction amid our brothers and sisters in the Global South.

Maryland Brian


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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #88 on: August 05, 2007, 10:53:59 AM »
b. In Presiding Bishop Hanson’s address to the LWF Council in September 2004, he discussed diversity within the church when he called for: “Expansion of our understanding of ‘differentiated consensus’ and ‘reconciled diversity’ as theological tools for deepening conversation will help us to grow in unity without demanding uniformity.”

While the theological and logical confusion behind such terms as “differentiated consensus” and “reconciled diversity” is evident,   Bishop Hanson’s stated hope would be that churches could allow for different opinions existing within them.  This is a very different goal than Paul’s “being of one mind”,
But it is very much in line with Paul's different parts of the one body (1 Cor 12). Where Paul does talk about having one mind or the same mind, he uses phroneo, a word whose basic meaning is "thoughtful planning," i.e., be united in your planning and purpose (Phl 2:2, 5; 3:15; 4:2). It does not necessarily mean agreeing about everything. In fact, it is when differing thoughts and ideas are thrown into the planning pot that better plans can be made.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Maryland Brian

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Re: Welcome to Chicago
« Reply #89 on: August 05, 2007, 05:31:27 PM »

But it is very much in line with Paul's different parts of the one body (1 Cor 12). Where Paul does talk about having one mind or the same mind, he uses phroneo, a word whose basic meaning is "thoughtful planning," i.e., be united in your planning and purpose (Phl 2:2, 5; 3:15; 4:2). It does not necessarily mean agreeing about everything. In fact, it is when differing thoughts and ideas are thrown into the planning pot that better plans can be made.


 You're arguing with the wrong person.  I think listening to the insights of an African Lutheran theologian is the point.  The Global South isn't buying the offered insight from a declining mainline Global North.  Reread the entire article.  It is an amazing bit of faithfulness from another part of the Kingdom.

MD Brian